Create a walking group in your street

Create a walking group in your street

Studies have shown that walking helps with everything from losing weight and lowering blood pressure, to reducing the risks of heart disease and depression. It also found that if you walk in a group, you are more likely to stick with it – and you tend to walk faster and further than if you do it on your own.

July 30, 2020
close up of feet of walking group

Here are 9 tips on how to get a walking group together.

  1. Send out flyers to the people in your street, or any local clubs you’re part of.
  2. Consider people you already know socially and the sort of people you enjoy spending time with (you aren’t going to want to walk with people whose company you don’t enjoy).
  3. Aim for at least two other people to commit to get started. This way if one person can’t make it, you’ll still have someone to walk with.
  4. Try to expand your group but keep it to under 12 – you don’t want the group to be too big, especially if you are going to be walking near busy roads.
  5. Set a time that is convenient to everyone (or most people, most of the time – it might not suit everyone all the time)
  6. Organise an easily accessible meeting place which is close by. You can choose different places to walk but if they are too far away, it might put people off.
  7. Set a distance that everyone is comfortable with. You can increase the distance as everyone gets used to walking further.
  8. Warm up and stretch before you start – this can improve flexibility, prepare your muscles for being active and prevent injuries.
  9. Try to walk at a pace which suits everyone.

You could combine your walk with another social event such as meeting for coffee. Walk first and have a coffee when you’ve finished as a reward.

You could also try to combine it with a book club – you all read a book and then discuss it while you’re walking; or just chat and share stories along the way.

The benefits of walking

Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35% and Type 2 diabetes by 40%. (Source: heartfoundation.org.au)

Regular walking can also:

  1. Manage weight, blood pressure & cholesterol
  2. Reduce your risk of some cancers
  3. Maintain bone density, reducing risk of osteoporosis and fractures
  4. Improve balance and coordination
  5. Improve self-esteem, mood and sleep quality
  6. Reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue
  7. Improve cognitive function, memory and attention in older people.

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